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USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Jul 23, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions.

  • Rental Car Insurance, Concierge Services, Price Protection, & more

  • $0 annual fee, no penalty APR & no foreign transaction fee

Highlights
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions
  • Pay no annual fee, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees
  • USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

More Info

Who the card is best for

If you’re a military member or eligible family member looking for a simple cashback card, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card provides a flat-rate cashback program that’s easy to use. There’s a $0 annual fee and you gain access to various travel-centric benefits with this card. But if you’re looking for a travel card or a card with higher rewards rates, check out our lists of the best travel, rewards and cashback cards.

Rewards breakdown

This cashback program is very straightforward — Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions. That means you don’t have to worry about rotating categories, activating bonus categories or limits to the cash back you earn. You can redeem cash back as a statement credit or deposit into your USAA checking or savings account, and the minimum redemption amount is a low $1. However, beware that cash back redeemed as a statement credit doesn’t count as payment toward your minimum due. Refer to the terms and conditions for more detail.

Where this card stands out in its category

Low minimum redemption amount. While many rewards programs set minimum redemption amounts at $25, USAA allows cardholders to conveniently redeem cash back starting at $1. That gives you the flexibility to redeem cash back in small or large amounts.

Wide range of travel benefits. Provided you use your card to book travel, you may receive coverage for a variety of issues that may arise when you travel, such as damage to a rental vehicle, an accident that occurs when you travel that cuts your trip short, or delayed baggage. (See the additional card benefits section below for more detail.) In addition to various insurances, this card has no foreign transaction fee, saving you the typical 3% fee some other cards charge.

USAA provides qualified credit cardholders the opportunity to take advantage of military interest rate benefits. If you’re an active duty military member and are deployed while your account is in good standing, you may receive a reduced interest rate of 4%. Purchases made before and after active duty may be covered if you qualify. This is a helpful feature that can save you money on interest charges while you serve, and it’s a better rate than the 6% provided by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Find out more about this benefit here.

Where this card falls short in its category

This card is a pretty solid choice overall, allowing you to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions. But while that’s decent, it is below the 2% cashback rate we recommend for flat-rate cashback cards. You can find other cashback cards that offer higher flat rates or high rates in select categories, but keep in mind they may come with annual fees and limits.

Additional card benefits

The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card has several added perks:

  • Rental car insurance*: When you rent an eligible vehicle for 31 consecutive days or less, you may be covered for damage or theft, reasonable loss of use charges, and towing charges.
  • Travel accident insurance*: Pay for your trip with your card and you may receive coverage for accidental death or dismemberment up to a maximum of $500,000.
  • Baggage delay insurance*: Use your card to pay for your trip fare. If your baggage is delayed more than four hours, you may be reimbursed for incidentals up to $100 a day for three days.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance*: When you pay for travel on a common carrier (such as an airplane or train) and cancel travel or cut your trip short due to covered situations like accidental injury or physical illness, you may be reimbursed up to $1,500.
  • Travel assistance services*: Receive referrals for emergency medical assistance and legal issues when you travel 50 miles or more from home.
  • Road assist service*: If your card breaks down during a trip in the 50 United States or D.C., call 866-200-9866 and you can receive assistance like gas delivery, tire changes and towing.

If you need one of these services, call 866-200-9866 to get the help described above.

*Terms Apply. Refer to your Guide to Benefits for more detail.

Compare it with the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card

A good alternative is the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card which offers high cashback rates in select categories.

The main difference between the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card and the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card is the type of cashback program they offer. If you’re looking for a simple, flat-rate cashback card, the USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is the better choice since you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions.

However, if you typically spend in select categories and want to earn a higher cash back rate on those purchases, check out the cashback program offered by the USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card — Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. Earn 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Comparing other features, both cards have no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and the same type of travel benefits (though the specific coverage amounts differ). Ultimately the card that’s right for you depends on your spending habits and whether you want a flat-rate card or a card that earns more cash back in select categories.

Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:

USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card USAA® Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Card
Annual Fee $0 $0
Regular Purchase APR 13.40% - 27.40% Variable 13.40% - 27.40% Variable
Rewards Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limits or category restrictions. Earn 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in gas and military base purchases annually on these categories combined. Earn 2% on your first $3,000 on supermarket purchases per year. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Foreign Transaction Fee None None

Bottom line

The USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card is a decent choice for military members and their eligible family members who want a flat-rate cashback card and other added perks. Plus, if you travel often, the wide range of travel perks and lack of a foreign transaction fee have the potential to save you money.


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September 30, 2019